A healthy diet in women is associated with less facial wrinkles in a large Dutch population-based cohort

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 May;80(5):1358-1363.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2018.03.033. Epub 2018 Mar 27.


Background: Little is known about the effects of different dietary patterns on facial wrinkling.

Objective: We aimed to investigate the association between diet and facial wrinkles in a population-based cohort of 2753 elderly participants of the Rotterdam study.

Methods: Wrinkles were measured in facial photographs by digitally quantifying the area wrinkles occupied as a percentage of total skin area. Diet was assessed by the Food Frequency Questionnaire. Adherence to the Dutch Healthy Diet Index (DHDI) was calculated. In addition, we used principal component analysis (PCA) to extract relevant food patterns in men and women separately. All food patterns and the DHDI were analyzed for an association with wrinkle severity using multivariable linear regression.

Results: Better adherence to the Dutch guidelines was significantly associated with less wrinkles among women but not in men. In women, a red meat and snack-dominant PCA pattern was associated with more facial wrinkles, whereas a fruit-dominant PCA pattern was associated with fewer wrinkles.

Limitations: Due to the cross-sectional design of our study, causation could not be proven. Other health-conscious behaviors of study participants could have influenced the results.

Conclusion: Dietary habits are associated with facial wrinkling in women. Global disease prevention strategies might benefit from emphasizing that a healthy diet is also linked to less facial wrinkling.

Keywords: Dutch Healthy Diet Index; Rotterdam study; diet; facial wrinkling; healthy lifestyle; nutrition; principal component analysis; skin aging.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Female
  • Food*
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin Aging*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires